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Acumen Overview

Burlingame, CA
201 to 500 employees
Company - Private
$10 to $25 million (USD) per year
Acumen, LLC was established by scholars from Stanford University in to improve the information provided to policymakers who design and revise welfare, health, education, labor, and business programs at the national, state, and local levels. In conjunction with its affiliated ... Read more

Mission: Our mission is to improve the information available to policy makers who design health, welfare, education, and labor programs at all levels of government.
We are an organization that attracts, develops, excites and retains exceptional people.

Acumen – Why Work For Us?

undefinedAcumen, LLC was established by scholars from Stanford University in 1996. In conjunction with its affiliated nonprofit firm, the SPHERE Institute, Acumen offers practitioners a powerful policy analysis capability, providing specific, impartial advice and context for policy debates.

We are committed to the improvement of public policy through information management, and we have worked with several agencies to develop resources to build their internal databases and self-evaluation capacity. To supplement internal sources of information, our team has created and utilized all forms of administrative and survey data to produce outcomes relevant for both service providers and funding organizations.

Our team of professionals includes economists, analysts, and programmers who are skilled in the use of large-scale administrative data sources to formulate concrete solutions to complicated problems. By basing our research and forecasts on sound empirical foundations, we provide our public and private sector clients a data-driven view of their business.

Acumen members have experience conveying information and research findings to broad audiences of policymakers, program operators, and other stakeholders. With these interrelated goals and expertise, Acumen, LLC serves the interests of the public, government, business and the research community.

Policy Areas

Acumen’s research focuses on the areas of health, labor and social policy. In particular, Acumen has developed an expertise in topics such as: comparative effectiveness research, value-based purchasing, drug safety, drug pricing, expenditure forecasting, and outcomes measurement for various health, welfare, education and labor programs.


Acumen provides consulting and research services to national, state, and local governments, as well as to non-profits. We cater primarily to federal agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to improve the information available to policy makers who design health, welfare, education, and labor programs at all levels of government.We are an organization that attracts, develops, excites and retains exceptional people.

undefinedBenefits at Acumen

Healthcare/Disability/Life Benefits
Acumen’s cafeteria plan enables employees to select the medical, dental and vision plans that best suits their needs. Employees are able to utilize Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). We also provide supplemental accident insurance, and short- and long-term disability coverage. Other programs available to Acumen employees include the Employee Assistance Program and group term life insurance.

401k Retirement Plans
Acumen offers both a traditional 401k and a Roth 401k plan for employees. After one year of service, the company automatically contributes 5% of an employee’s salary to the traditional 401k, regardless of whether that employee make contributions.

Paid Time Off/Sick Leave
Staff members accrue personal time off for vacation, personal business, and short-term illness. Accrual rates are based on years of service, beginning with three weeks per year, increasing to a maximum of five weeks per year.

Designated Holidays & Personal Floating Holidays
Acumen offers ten paid holidays per year, which are New Year's Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and two "floating" holidays.

Other benefits:
Subsidized child care;
Subsidized fitness club access;
Commuter Checks.

Project Leaders

Acumen’s project leaders are representative of our firm’s distinct technical skills and are responsible for overseeing the completion of project objectives. Our project leaders are dedicated in providing high quality products, working against time and resource constraints. Listed below are Acumen’s senior project leaders, their title, and their e-mail address.

Thomas MaCurdy, Ph.D. Managing Member /
Senior Research Associate
Jay Bhattacharya, Ph.D. Senior Research Associate

Acumen Reviews

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Thomas MaCurdy
46 Ratings
  • "Great learning experience"

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    Former Employee - Policy Associate in Burlingame, CA
    Former Employee - Policy Associate in Burlingame, CA
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Acumen full-time (More than 3 years)


    For data analysts, Acumen provides a wonderful opportunity to work with very rich healthcare data (clinical, provider, demographic, financial, etc.), to learn from smart and experienced economists and policy researchers, and to design, implement, and present analyses to clients, even for entry-level programmer analysts.

    Analysts are encouraged/pushed to recommend ideas for new analyses and to implement them, and are recognized for going above and beyond on project work, so you can get a lot of hands-on learning in analytical approaches, statistical tools, programming, etc. There is typically time to work on more than just the specific problems outlined in project plans and to work on long-term projects that will be beneficial for Acumen’s project teams down the road and will serve as a learning experience.


    Acumen hires college grads in waves, and analysts sometimes are brought onto a team without a clear immediate role assignment.

    Communication between research/analyst teams and IT/Data Support is sometimes lacking.

    Some government clients can be disorganized at times (not Acumen’s fault, but can still be a bit demoralizing). Clients are still typically very appreciative of Acumen's efforts.

    Advice to Management

    Just as there is effort to develop strong people managers at Acumen, I would recommend putting more effort into developing stronger analysts and technical managers and into establishing/evaluating standards for quality and verification of work.

See All 91 Reviews

Acumen Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview





    Operations Coordinator (Research Operations Team) Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Burlingame, CA
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied online. I interviewed at Acumen (Burlingame, CA) in April 2017.


    The interview lasted about 2 1/2 hours. The first hour was spent completing a logic and statistics test and the last hour and a half was spent doing three back-to-back 30 minute interviews with three different groups of employees. The recruiting coordinator also gave me a tour of the office before the test.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about an experience in which you had to act as a coordinator and how you managed the situation.   Answer Question
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Acumen Awards & Accolades

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